New Costa Rican Law Seeks to Include all Menstrual Hygiene Products in the Basic Priority Goods “Basket”

    Initiative proposes that educational institutions incorporate menstrual education from the first cycle to diversified education

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    Within the framework of International Women’s Day, Tico deputy Carolina Hidalgo, presented a bill to promote and guarantee the Government’s actions in the area of menstrual health and hygiene. This is project 22.421 Menstruation and Justice, which aims to ensure that menstrual hygiene products have a reduced rate of Value Added Tax (VAT).

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    Personal hygiene items including thin sanitary towels and menstrual pads are part of the basic priority goods basket; however, Hidalgo expressed through her social networks: “Not all women use the thin sanitary towel and therefore they need to buy other types.”

    Included in the Basic Priority Goods Basket

    The text of the project indicates: “The sales, as well as the imports or internations of the essential materials used to collect the female menstrual flow such as sanitary towels (disposable or reusable), panty liners, tampons, menstrual pads and others that are thus cataloged by the Ministry of Health. These products must be included in the Basic Priority Goods Basket”.

    Similarly, it mentions the declaration of: The National Day of Menstrual Hygiene on May 28th  and the duty of the National Institute of Women (INAMU) to develop campaigns for creating awareness about menstruation and the effects of painful female periods.

    Educational centers and prisons

    The initiative also proposes that educational institutions incorporate menstrual education from the elementary to diversified education. Likewise, that the Ministry of Justice and the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners incorporate public policies to educate about hygiene and menstrual health, in coordination with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health.

    “We want that menstruation does not make us more vulnerable and more discriminated against. Educating and freeing menstruation from paying taxes is synonymous with social and tax justice for women,” said Hidalgo.

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